Some people embrace change, some run the other way. Which are you? The other day our “new” family member, Bella, boxer, came to live with us. Just watching the cat adjust to the situation or not, has been a mini science project. Now it’s hardly the first time I’ve gone through this socialization but I found myself studying it differently this time.
The cat has lived with and loved dogs already. And I personally prefer dogs to cats, more on that later. But, despite the fact that the dog isn’t the least bit aggressive, not one iota of aggressive behavior, the cat feels the need to hide under beds for days, climb to the highest shelves and knock lots of things down, and puff up like a cobra if the dog moves too suddenly.
In all fairness he’s 85% of the way to normalization and its only day 4, worthy of praise. But let’s face it, he’s been here before, the dog is nearly a twin for the dog we just put down, and may I remind you, HE LIKES DOGS! Before the last dog died he spent many an hour rubbing up against her. So why does the cat even bother with this charade when he knows he’ll be cuddling with her any day now?
Ok ok, you’ll say it’s a cat, he can’t help it, give him a break, lighten up. But we all know people like this don’t we? They find themselves in a situation not of their choosing, and then suffer for some amount of time knowing full well they will come around and adjust ( or not) sooner or later. I mean life never stops throwing us curve balls – never. And many people think, “If only this were different or that.” Or, “I’d have felt better if this had happened or if that had instead.” Here’s the deal people – we have a name for this syndrome- we call them circumstances, and we always have them, pushing in on us, unwanted, unplanned, unexpected situations, turns in the road, curve balls, a pickle.
Now dogs don’t seem to spend much time psychologizing. Notice dogs never worry about being late? Or if you like their outfit? But somehow cats seem to represent the people that worry a lot. Even when it isn’t warranted. Of course there are some neurotic dogs but mostly the species are pretty chill. They roll with punches. Remember the dog’s the one in a brand new house, with strangers, and a cat that would enjoy hurting her if she gets too close, too fast.
Oh and did I mention she’s in heat, too? Yup, just to make things more complicated the poor girl is “ripe.” But you don’t hear her complaining, even when she’s had to suffer the indignity of wearing a protective diaper! What a champ. I couldn’t handle all this.
Yet it’s the cat that’s acted freaked out. There’s an old Chinese proverb I’ve always loved, “Ride the horse in the direction it’s going.” Yes, yes, go with the flow kitty. The dog’s staying, you’re as loved and spoiled as she will be, she’s a doll, and you know you wanna cuddle with her. Give it up!